Nineteen organisations representing manufacturing and its financing have combined with EEF to produce this submission, which produces these main recommendations:
- Tax - There should be no further rise in the business tax burden, especially on energy. Proposals for tax simplification should be part of the better regulation process including review by the Panel for Regulatory Accountability.
- Government Spending - In its Spending review the government must stick to its early indications that its budget will increase in real terms by an annual 1.9% over the 2007-10 period so that it declines as a share of the economy.
- Investment - Government should undertake a comprehensive investigation on the factors behind the weakness in manufacturing investment.
- Innovation - Government should introduce an incremental 'top up' to the existing volume based R&D tax credit, enhance the role of the Technology Strategy Board and take steps to make much better use of public procurement to stimulate innovation.
- Energy - Government should introduce a package of measures on energy efficiency, in particular extending Climate Change Agreements to any sector than can demonstrate a credible plan to deliver efficiency gains.
- Skills - Government should adopt a radical, sector-led approach to skills reform and avoid any moves towards employer compulsion on training.
- Business Support - Government should provide appropriate funding for vital business support schemes, in particular a fully resourced UK Trade & Investment, as well as an enhanced role for the Manufacturing Advisery Service.